FLEX Steps for Transformation

The general approach

Here is the general approach to transforming with FLEX

  1. First seeing what you are doing
  2. Being clear about the intentions of these actions
  3. Analyzing capabilities and challenges
  4. Understanding the challenges you are having (this may be you are doing the wrong thing or there are problems to solve in order to let you do what you are attempting to do better
  5. Identify solutions to these challenges
  6. Create a road map to use

Be clear that you probably can’t go very far with Steps 5 and 6 but instead should just pick next steps, learn something and then repeat. See the basis for deciding on first steps in order to gain insights in how to select first steps.

Deciding how to start

There is no one set way to start. Figure 1 illustrates solutions.

Figure 1. Solutions for starting.

The red items (such as Use MBIs) are ones that are useful to start with. The lighter ones are often the last things to implement. However, this is just a guide. On must look and see how each of these interacts with the other because systems-thinking (and experience) tells us we are in a system where each change affects other actions.

Figure 2 shows these items organized left to right in typical order of impact while bottom to top in typical order of effort. Each organization is different. Before making changes to an organization one must create a mapping the represents this picture for the organization about to be worked with. Only then can intelligent decisions be made as to where to start. Companies should try to do too many things at the start. After each one is implemented these relationships may change so feedback and adjustments based on that is required.

Figure 2. Impact and efforts

Some relationships between the actions are also listed in the figure. This figurewould suggest that the company should probably start with

But this is just an example.

Understanding how to choose what steps to take and how they interact

Once started, FLEX provides us with a method to tell if we are reducing this waste or not. When learning how to drive a car, one of the first things you must learn is “how well are you keeping the car where it should be.” That is, are you in your lane. Yet, most frameworks guide us by how well we follow the framework. Our goal should never be to follow a framework but rather how well are you in adding value to your company and your customers. One aspect of this that you need is an understanding of the resistance you are facing. By lowering this resistance you will get more from your efforts. This is the purpose of the value stream impedance scorecard.